Dutch national day of mourning for MH17 victims on Wednesday

Dutch Prime minister Mark Rutte speaks after meeting relatives of victims of the Malaysia airlines plane crash in Utrecht on July 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 
Dutch Prime minister Mark Rutte speaks after meeting relatives of victims of the Malaysia airlines plane crash in Utrecht on July 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 

THE HAGUE (AFP) - The Netherlands has declared Wednesday a national day of mourning for the 193 Dutch victims of the flight MH17 crash, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a statement.

The first bodies recovered from last week's disaster over rebel-held Ukraine, in which 298 people died, are due to arrive in the Netherlands at 1400 GMT on Wednesday, where they will be met by relatives.

King Willem Alexander, Queen Maxima and Mr Rutte will also be present at Eindhoven airport for the arrival of the bodies, which will be marked by a minute's silence, the statement from the justice ministry on Tuesday said.

Flags on public buildings around the country will fly at half mast, Mr Rutte said. Representatives of some of the 10 other nations whose citizens were killed in the crash will also be present.